Sales Funnel, What’s That?
A sales funnel is the most important marketing tool online business owners have in their marketing toolkit. It’s sometimes referred to as a “marketing funnel”.
However, there are a lot of entrepreneurs and bloggers – both new and established – who have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how it works.
They don’t understand how this critical tool can make a drastic difference in how they run their business and how they make money online.
As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business.
It also means you’ll experience more stress, confusion and overwhelm when starting your business.
Creating sales funnels helps you to focus on what matters. On providing value to your audience and getting paid for that value.
You can build your business. Have one core product. Focus on building a tribe of potential customers who would love to use that one product. That’s what a sales funnel can do for you.
The Simplest Sales Funnels
The most basic sales funnel will focus on growing your mailing list so you can nurture your audience and promote to them when you need to. This is essential to set up right from the start of your business.
A basic sales funnel starts with the free content you offer your audience. This costs your audience nothing but time and gives them valuable information that either educates or entertains.
This can be blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook content, and other information readers can access at no cost. This is the “top” of your funnel.
Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires no financial commitment, just an email address. This will be your lead magnet or opt-in and will help you build your email list.
You can offer a free ebook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that will help your audience take action on what they have read in exchange for “opting in” to your email list. The key is to focus on delivering 1 solution to 1 problem.
Once on your mailing list, you’ll then nurture the subscriber by providing valuable educating content. You can then promote both affiliate links and your own products to them in order to turn them from subscriber to customer.
The Optimized Sales Funnel
The optimized funnel turns your reader into a paying customer within a few clicks.
The funnel starts the same way, with free content on your blog or social media, then onto offering your lead magnet.
When they have opted in, at this stage, you present your new subscriber with a low-cost offer called a tripwire.
A tripwire should be between $7 – $20. This can be an eBook, mini-course or a Low-cost trial membership (think $7 for 30 days).
The key here is that not only is the item you offer contains valuable solutions, but you already sell or plan to sell it at a higher price point. You then add urgency by offering the product at a low-cost for a limited time after they have opted in.
Customers who purchase your low-priced product move further down your funnel, and are presented with more, higher-priced products through your email promotions.
As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.
How Your Funnel Works
Imagine your funnel looks like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers.
Below that, your lead magnet attracts a smaller group of true freebie seekers. Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller group.
Finally, as you near the tip of the funnel, only your true tribe of fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers.
Your job, as a business owner, is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top, free offers all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more money you will make.
Most new—and even established—business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must master the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is, how it works and how to actually create them.
3 Key Pages to Building Your First Sales Funnel
So now you know what a sales funnel is and why you need one or more, how do you set up your first funnel?
In fact, not know how to set up a funnel is the number one reason small business owners say they can’t get their funnels set up—they simply don’t know what to include where.
Here’s the easy answer: At the very least, your sales funnel needs three pages.
Opt-in/Lead Magnet Landing Page [Essential]
This one obviously comes first. You may hear this called an opt-in page or squeeze page.
It serves one purpose—to get the reader to take action. You want them to take up your offer and give you their email address in exchange for the free gift, this is the gateway into your funnel.
Everything that follows depends on this page, so you want to be sure you: Include a clear call to action—“Access Now” or “Click here to download this report for free”.
Eliminate distractions—that means no links to other websites or even a navigation bar.
Address the readers’ pain points and how your offer provides the solution. Focus on the transformation they will get by taking up your offer. Always think benefits, not features.
Tripwire Page [Optimized Funnel]
This page has one function. That is to get your new subscriber to become a customer.
You’ll make an irresistible low-cost offer that your reader will find hard to resist. This is your tripwire. You can include a video on this page and should include a timer to give your offer urgency.
Remember you want to make this a one-time limited offer on a product you genuinely sell at a higher price.
Confirmation/Thank You Page
This is where you will confirm that their offer is on the way. If you have a double opt-in you can tell them the next steps, they need to take in order to collect their freebie.
Or you can make sure they actually collect their downloadable item from this page.
Like the Tripwire page, this is valuable real estate, so you want to be sure you use it wisely.
In addition to the downloadable item your customer just purchased (or opted in for) you also want to showcase your other offers—especially those at a slightly higher price point.
Here’s why: the person looking at this page is a hot prospect. He or she is in a buying mood. You want to be sure to take advantage of that by putting your most relevant offers on this page.
To encourage buying, again consider including, a limited time offer—scarcity sells, so if you can legitimately limit sales to a few hours/days or number of units, then this is the place to do so.
A “no-brainer” coupon offer—an insider’s only deal can be a powerful motivator, especially if it’s a fantastic price.
If you’re setting up a free funnel, this page has great power—and you don’t want to waste it!
Here is where you can offer upsells, remind people to follow you on social media, and give them a peek at your other products and services.
Extra bonuses—give them access to additional products/services if they buy through your link on that page. These should be bonuses that aren’t advertised on the public sales page for that product. Again—insider’s deals are motivating!
Putting together a sales funnel isn’t complicated—or at least it doesn’t have to be. As your business grows and you have more products to offer, you can expand your funnel to include more upsells and downsells, but for now, this simple setup is really all you need.